we just tell you what we like
Berkeley Rep Theatre, until October 19
I think I now understand what “post post modernism” and “kamikaze cabaret” mean. Expect the unexpected. My seat neighbors on my left seemed to have expected something else, perhaps more on the post modern style, and my neighbors to the right were laughing out loud and participating in a finale number I will not disclose, but that in itself may be worth the price of admission. Yes, there is audience participation, and Meow Meow knows how to select the right kind of helping audience member. She gets herself in perilous postures, trusting that the selected audience members will support her, and as she concludes, “yes, you can die in the hands of someone,” as if to say “do not attempt this at home.”
Perhaps like most of Berkeley Rep’s audience (an Audience with Meow Meow, the title, will be taken literally), I have no experience of cabaret, and at first I feared it would be all cabaret, you know, the kind I assume one goes to Las Vegas to watch between two rounds of roulette. But soon the fourth wall was broken, the audience saw itself in a mirror, the sets and the curtain rod could be climbed on. I will risk using the word Brechtian for this kind of irony in despair that sees the stage falling apart until Meow Meow becomes Meow Me with a broken heart, is swept away by the stage hands by orders of the producers, and she survives with the trunk she always brings in case everything falls apart.
I’m reminded of making an earthquake kit. Yes, we take risks every day, and the show of our lives goes on until we die in the hands of someone.